Is insulation worth it?

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Old 06-23-14, 12:07 PM
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Question Is insulation worth it?

Hi all,

I am a new homeowner of an expanded cape-cod style house, where the 2nd floor has been (dutch?) dormered on one side for master bedroom, and a single dormer for a bathroom on the back.

The problem is that the attic has been reduced to an inaccessible crawl space running the ridge of the roof. My 2nd floor is REALLY hot.

For starters, I am getting a mini-split AC/heatpump system installed. That should help, but I dont know how energy efficient it will be.

To that end, I had an insulation guy come in and give me an estimate for insulating the following:
(1) crawlspace
(2) 2nd floor

I thought the crawl space would be the best bang for the buck to insulate (blown cellulose), but the insulation guy was focused on the 2nd floor. My question is this: will insulating this top floor really make a difference? Aside from the crawl space and the dormer, there is very little room between sheetrock and the underside of the roof. Without an attic, I am not sold that it will make enough of a difference to make it worth the expense and the mess of retro-fitting insulation.
 
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Old 06-23-14, 12:16 PM
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Thats a tough one...

I have a cape also..

Some questions need clarifying or answered..

There is a trap door that you can access the peak?
What type of vents do you have? gable, soffit, ridge?
I asuume there are a few knee walls. Are these insulated?
There mostlikley is insulation from the peak to the soffits already. Is this insulation held up by wires or was the peak to soffets sheetrocked?

Unless you plan to possibly gut some things to find out spending money on insulating up there may be mute..

As far as the crawl space, I took down my insulation what was left of it, added heat down there and closed up the vents. Just an 8 ft section of baseboard...
 
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Old 06-27-14, 02:05 PM
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I think he is referring to the side attic and he says "crawlspace".

Insulation is always worth the money. However, it needs to be done properly. Buildingscience.com has some information about blown cellulose in between the rafters with no ventilation space. It is worth the read if that is what the contractor is suggesting.

I have a similar problem as you. Having the roof right on the other side of living space can be problematic. In the summer, the roof gets incredibly hot and sends that heat into your living space. I chose to gut my upstairs and used closed cell spray foam on the roof deck to deal with it. I'm probably about 90% done and the difference has been dramatic.
 
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Old 07-09-14, 08:31 AM
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thanks for the responses!

There are knee walls, which would be insulated with bubble wrap and/or cellulose as well. (I assume that is what you mean by 'side attic'?)

I believe there are soffits around the house. No access from the interior to the little 'attic' along the roof ridge--just a vent on either side
 
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